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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Communication in Panama

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

My sister saw this mail box recently while traveling and I love that she sent me a picture of it because well, it's fabulous and it's over 115 years old.

This copper beauty got me thinking about Panama and even if I was on your holiday letter list, you can't send me one anyway so, consider yourself off the hook. Heck, I don't even have an address. Seriously.

I used to love sending out letters every year to my family and friends but receiving them even more. For obvious reasons, it just isn't possible anymore for me because well, Panama really does not have a mail system and essentially never has.

No wax seals, blazing ponies, no stamp collections, they didn't get to grow up with the same letter carrier delivering those awaited love letters, and likely the phrase "going postal," means nothing to a Panamanian. On the positive side, there were no Anthrax letters either.

From 1904-1978 when the USA was in control of the Panama Canal there were international post offices operated by the United States in the canal zone and I have seen some beautiful stamps out there that were used back then. But the postal service never became a mainstream way of communicating. Actually, the land-line phone didn't exist in remote areas either. They skipped right to cell phones and that has just happened in the last 5 years in our area.

So in the more remote areas of Panama like where we are, to communicate with each other they either had to take a bus or a horse for hours to a town that had a pay phone or, there was a radio station that would broadcast messages from town to town. You had to check a message board. I am talking this was less than 20 years ago.

How do we get packages? These days we use a courier service in the major towns. Ours is just a short 2 hours away. What else does this mean? No Prime delivery service either. Think you could do it?

You can try it for a short visit when you come stay with us this winter for a break from the cold. We might ask you to carry a few letters for us to mail.

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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